Interest Area Highlight: Go Green

With the world’s population rapidly approaching seven billion people, living a more sustainable life becomes more important every day.

The message is all around us.  Climate change.  The swirling, Texas-sized mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean.  Worsening storms causing devastating damage.  Oil spills.  Overpopulation.

We’re really making a mess of things.

So, some people are taking steps to reverse, or at least slow, the damage that our species is doing to our planet.  It’s even become trendy, with celebrities endorsing “greener” products and advertisers focusing on environmental impact.

These days, green is the new black.

Even McDonald’s, a company regularly harshly criticized for both its business practices and product quality, is getting in on the action.  Their pilot “green” store in Chicago uses 25% less energy and features reserved parking spots for hybrid vehicles in an attempt to reduce their negative effect on the environment.


Like urban tumbleweeds, they float through the streets, clogging drains and catching on tree branches.  Plastic bags are everywhere — and that ubiquity is leading concerned consumers to more eco-friendly options, like reusable canvas tote bags.

Sometimes, however, doing the right thing can have unintended consequences.  The Green Gone Wrong studylist showcases some lessons learned the hard way when it comes to “green” products.


Recycling cardboard for food packaging is, in theory, a great idea.

However, problems arise when dyes from recycled newspapers get into the food, making it impure and possibly even dangerous.



The new compostable Sun Chips bag won points from consumers for being fully biodegradable — unlike the usual plastic chip bags.

Unfortunately, sales went down when those same consumers realized the new bags were loud enough to drown out the sound of an action movie.


Many responsible and ethical consumers have switched to reusable bags to reduce waste from disposable plastic bags.

But these bags may be harmful in their own way, as studies have found high levels of lead in some brands.


Even with the setbacks, working toward a more environmentally-friendly way of life is a worthy goal.  This is especially true where I live — the United States, one of the most energy-gobbling, waste-producing countries in the world.

Most importantly, we must remember that we’re all in this together if we want to create a better world.  After all, it’s the only one we’ve got.

Do you have an idea about going green or environmental action that would make a good vocablet?  Read any recent articles that you’d like to see in a vocablet?  Share them in the comments!

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